In today’s world of limitless consumer choice, deciding on the perfect tool for the task is getting more difficult. Even testing the pH of water raises the perplexing question of “where do I start?” A short Google search yields a lot of options ranging from pH test strips to complex sensor systems, some of which may err on the light-hearted consumer side. Fortunately, in this post, we will break down the pH probe types you should be aware of, and how the different types will meet any pH application you desire.

Different Types of pH Probes

There are different types of pH probes, including the following:

  • Consumer-grade pH Probe

It is the standard combination sensor with a pencil-like form for detecting more neutral and mild temperature elements. Also, it is ideal for pool monitoring, domestic water sampling, and lesser ecological sampling.

  • Combination Sensor

A combination sensor is today’s equivalent of the stone wheel. The materials may get more durable with time, but the fundamental science stays the same. It generates an electric signal from the difference between the two electrodes by using a reference electrode and a measuring electrode, which may subsequently be translated into a pH value.

  • Micro pH Probe

It is designed for tiny volume samples, such as microfluidics research, and can be screwed into small closed circuits allowing continuous monitoring. This sensor is also available in consumer and lab grade versions to suit various applications.

  • Differential Sensor

Differential sensors gain one leg by employing three electrodes in the measuring system rather than two. With the inclusion of a third metal grounding electrode, this differential sensor minimises background noise generated by contamination or other sources of electrical potential, allowing it to be employed in more intensive, heavy-duty conditions.

  • Lab-grade pH Probe

It is a step beyond consumer-grade, with higher-end materials used in the combination electrode configuration to monitor more severe pH levels and temperatures that may occur in research and wastewater conditions.

  • Spear Tip pH Probe

A sensor uses a sharp glass tip to penetrate things such as food and dirt to get more accurate pH readings in situations that dull combination probes cannot reach.


  • Industrial pH Probe

Again, a combined probe setup is used, but this time with more durable materials and a stronger exterior housing. This probe can withstand a beating yet provides continuous monitoring, making it ideal for screwing straight into a pipe.

pH Probes for Various Applications

A consumer-grade sensor would be sufficient for everyday consumer applications ranging from checking your tap water to monitoring the condition of your local lake. It’s strange how names may be handy at times. A simple combination, a consumer-grade sensor may be very affordable and last for a few years if kept hydrated and free of contamination—which is not a difficult task for those ordinary test situations in pretty clean water.

However, for purposes that become more basic or acidic, or for samples that are significantly contaminated, you will need to upgrade to a lab-grade pH probe to monitor reactions or the resultant chemical solution effectively. Check the pH range specification of the assigned sensor to verify it will stand up in the field since this is the most significant distinction between consumer and lab grade probes.

Two more probes from this combined sensor family are used for particular and smaller applications. A tiny pH probe includes a different cable for each measuring and sensing electrode, allowing the probe tips to read signals in tiny and shallow volumes of liquid. These micro pHs are often employed in microfluidic investigations and can handle a wide variety of pH and liquid conditions.

Moreover, the pH spear probe is an excellent instrument and measuring device for testing the pH of food, soil, and other puncture-worthy applications. This sensor, which has a pin-point glass tip, provides simple insertion and pH measurement regardless of the sample. To avoid cross-contamination, you should clean it after each use, as anticipated. Despite the name, no puncturing is necessary to get a pH value; nevertheless, like the lab-grade sensor, this spear pH probe can measure a broad pH range.

Lastly, the industrial pH probe has its own wheelhouse. Let us not forget that the same sensor combination technique is used here. However, with these sophisticated materials and the EXR enhanced detecting glass and thicker sensor inclosure, this device can work in practically any environment—and the sensor may be immersed indefinitely for continuous pH monitoring. 

Furthermore, since this industrial probe may be screwed directly into a pipe system, continuous monitoring is taken a step further. The industrial pH probe may handle almost every circumstance.


If you have a precise application for a pH probe, examine the specification documents to guarantee that the sensor materials shouldn’t interfere with your pH readings. However, you wouldn’t have to be concerned with such minute details. Determine your application’s pH and temperature ranges to choose the appropriate grade and type of pH probe.